A Dog’s Purpose ( W. Bruce Cameron)- If reading about a dog dying once isn’t sad enough for you try reading about a dog dying over and over again. That’s what happens in this book as the dog keeps getting reincarnated as a different dog with a different purpose in life. In addition to the sad moments there a lot of funny and sweet moments. It’s not great literature by any means but it’s an entertaining, big hearted book that shows all the ways in which dogs enrich our lives and we enrich theirs. Any dog owner or dog lover will be able to relate to and appreciate the story.
A Dog’s Journey (W. Bruce Cameron)-This is the sequel to A Dog’ Purpose and it’s more of the the same except the dog’s owner is more psychologically disturbed this time. Eating disorders and suicide attempts come in to play. It’s not surprising that the girl has issues since her mother is one of the worst fictional narcissists I’ve ever encountered and a real piece of work. In most of the dog’s incarnations it’s a big dog but in this book he becomes a little dog with attitude at one point. That was his funniest incarnation. I was also amused by the dogs’ opinions of and interactions with cats in both books.
The Turner House ( Angela Flournoy)- I chose this book in honor of Black History Month and I was pleased with my choice. This book did a great job of portraying racism and the African American experience (not that as a white person I can ever fully understand that experience) but it was about so much more than that. It was about poverty, urban decay, addiction, mental illness, physical illness, family function, family dysfunction, the ties that bind us and the ties that sever us.
This book goes back and forth in time focusing on the lives of various different members of a 13 child family. It pays particular attention to the man who is in therapy because he’s seeing a ghost (called a haint) and his sister who’s struggling with a gambling problem. Meanwhile, all 13 of the siblings are arguing over what to do with the family house now that their sick mother is no longer living in it and it’s putting them in to financial debt.
By the end of the novel the house situation is not resolved and it’s not made clear whether or not the haint is real but I was satisfied with the ending. It ends with a family gathering and it has a “Circle of life” feel to it. Regardless of whether or not the haint is an actual ghost, it’s made clear that the ghosts of our past will always haunt us and regardless of what happens to the Turner house, it’s clear that home is where the heart is.